December 27, 2006

The Good Life

Something wonderful to ponder as we enter the new year...

by Jim Rohn

The ultimate expression of life is not a paycheck. Neither is it a Mercedes. Nor a million dollars in a bank account. Here's the ultimate expression of life in my opinion, and that is
living a good life.
Here's what we must ask constantly, "What for me would be a good life?" And you have to keep going over and over the list. A list including areas such as spirituality, economics, health, relationships and recreation.

What would constitute a good life? I've got a short list.

1. Number one,
PRODUCTIVITY. You won't be happy if you don't produce. The game of life is not rest. We must rest, but only long enough to gather strength to get back to productivity. What's the reason for the seasons and the seeds, the soil and the sunshine, the rain and the miracle of life? It's to see what you can do with it. To try your hand. Other people have tried their hand; here's what they did. You try your hand to see what you can do. So part of life is productivity.

2) Next are
GOOD FRIENDS. Friendship is probably the greatest support system in the world. Don't deny yourself the time to develop this support system. Nothing can match it. It's extraordinary in its benefit. Friends are those wonderful people who know all about you and still like you.

I just lost one of my dearest friends. He died at age 53 - heart attack. David is gone, but he was one of my very special friends. I used to say of David that if I was stuck in a foreign jail somewhere accused unduly and if they would allow me one phone call, I would call David. Why? He would come and get me. That's a friend. Somebody who would come and get you.

3) Next on the list of a good life is your CULTURE. Your language, your music, the ceremonies, the traditions, the dress. All of that is so vitally important that you must keep it alive. In fact it is the uniqueness of all of us that when blended together brings vitality, energy, power, influence, uniqueness and rightness to the world.

4) Next is your religion, your
SPIRITUALITY. It helps to form the foundation of the family that builds the nation. And make sure you study, practice and teach. Don't be careless about the spiritual art of your nature, it's what makes us who we are, different from dogs, cats, birds and mice. Spirituality.

5) Next, here's what my parents taught me.
DON'T MISS ANYTHING. Don't miss the game. Don't miss the performance, don't miss the movie, don't miss the show, don't miss the dance. Go to everything you possibly can. Buy a ticket to everything you possibly can. Go see everything and experience all you possible can. That's what my parents taught me and it's served me so well to this day.

Just before my father died at age 93 if you were to call him at 10:30 or 11:00 at night, he wouldn't be home. He was at the rodeo, he was watching the kids play softball, he was listening to the concert, he was at church, he was somewhere every night.
Live a vital life.

Here's one of the reasons why: If you live well, you will earn well. If you live well, it will show in your face, it will show in the texture of your voice. There will be something unique and magical about you if you live well. It will infuse not only your personal life but also your business life. And it will give you a vitality nothing else can give.

6) Next are your FAMILY and the INNER CIRCLE. Invest in them and they'll invest in you. Inspire them and they'll inspire you. With your inner circle take care of the details.
When my father was still alive, I used to call him when I traveled. He'd have breakfast most every morning with the farmers. Little place called The Decoy Inn out in the country where we lived in Southwest Idaho. So Papa would go there and have breakfast and I'd call him just to give him a special day.

Now if I was in Israel, I'd have to get up in the middle of the night, but it only took five minutes, ten minutes. So I'd call Papa and they'd bring him the phone. I'd say, "Papa, I'm in Israel." He'd say, "Israel! Son, how are things in Israel?" He'd talk real loud so everybody could hear - my son's calling me from Israel. I'd say, "Papa last night they gave me a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean." He'd say, "Son, a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean." Now everybody knows the story. It only took 5-10 minutes, but what a special day for my father, age 93.

If a father walks out of the house and he can still feel his daughter's kiss on his face all day, he's a
powerful man. If a husband walks out of the house and he can still feel the imprint of his wife's arms around his body, he's invincible all day. It's the special stuff with the INNER CIRCLE that makes you strong and powerful and influential. So don't miss that opportunity.

There is no greater value than LOVE. Better to live in a tent on the beach with someone you love than to live in a mansion by yourself.

One person caring for another, that's one of life's greatest expressions.

So make sure in your busy day to remember the true purpose and the reasons you do what you do.
May you truly live the kind of life that will bring the fruit and rewards that you desire.


December 24, 2006

Season's Greetings

May your home be filled with happiness, your heart with love, and your days with joy and laughter this holiday season and always!


December 20, 2006

Milk and Honey

I just received an e-mail from a very good friend of mine who migrated a few months ago with her husband and son to the United States. After sharing with me some of her enjoyable experiences living in the land of supposedly greener pastures, she ended her missive with the inadvertent question: SO WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU STILL DOING THERE IN MANILA?

Given the alarmingly increasing number of people I know who have chosen to leave the Philippines in search of a better life abroad, I am understandably confronted by this same query more and more often these days. And with the disheartening onslaught of negative news and events that our poor nation has constantly been battered with, I find myself having to probe deeper and harder within myself for an honest, plausible answer.

There were many instances in my life when I could have packed up and gone – easily. In fact, if I wanted to right at this moment, I would have no problem stuffing my belongings in a suitcase and leaving tomorrow. I am one of those fortunate to have never had much trouble getting a U.S. visa and having it renewed as needed, to the consternation of the hundreds, nay thousands, of desperate souls out there who have tried to move heaven and earth to overcome their literal state of constant denial.

I am sure I can easily find a good company to work in overseas, armed as I am with a resume’ boasting of a Master’s Degree in business management, a lengthy list of academic achievements that would seem almost made up, varied work experiences and awards in top multinationals and glowing referrals from my very well-connected former superiors. Heck! I know I could have my folks gleefully rolling in remittance dollars by now if I really wanted to actualize my potentials in a more industrialized foreign country.

Ah, and there lies the rub: If I really wanted to. As hard as it is to believe, I have never found myself ever really wanting to.

I admit that I love to travel. I fall in love with each new country I visit. I love to experience the magnificent thrill of new places – the sound, the smell, the sight, the taste and the feel of them. I love uncovering their startling nuances, admiring their novel beauty and marveling at their outstanding uniqueness. I love going abroad and staying….but only for a while.

Always, for just a while.

It is not long before my heart and soul yearn once again for home –the Philippines. For despite the chaos and madness, the cruel injustices, and the hurtful betrayals that this country spuriously inflicts, I realize that I am helplessly in love with her. Tell me, how can one not be drawn?

I close my eyes and sigh as memories of life in these islands warmly embrace me and engulf my senses.

I inhale the romantic scent of gorgeous pine trees and savor the cool mountain air in Baguio.

I feel the soothing comfort of fine powdery white sand underneath my feet as I walk the shoreline of Boracay while taking in the breathtaking sunset that emblazons the horizon with a bursting prism of pink and orange.

I taste with unbridled relish the large juicy pineapples, luscious bananas and sinfully sweet avocados that can be bought for a song from the smiling market vendors in Tagaytay.

I hear the familiar multitudinous noises upon entering yet another new mall in the metro – the musical ringing tones spewing from the celfones of teen-agers hanging out after school; the delightful giggles of children as their parents bring them to their favorite toy stores and game amusement centers; the excited chatter of women ready to unleash their spending power as a Midnight Madness Sale hits the area on payday (usually accompanied by the disgruntled muttering of their unfortunate male companions); the cooing of oblivious lovers strolling while holding hands as if they were in a middle of a park instead of a shopping center; the clinking of beer bottles as tired office workers roll up their sleeves and relax with their buddies in a bar; the inevitable audible mixed commentaries of a procession of moviegoers coming out of a theater after watching the latest touted blockbuster – all these and more make up a mixture of sounds that may be considered odd, almost cacophonous even, but still are able to come together to provide a scintillating, one-of-a-kind experience.

And then, I gaze up carefully from where I stand and take in the sight of the Filipino people. I see the public school teachers patiently engaging in light banter with their enthusiastic pupils who are carrying schoolbags bigger than them. I see the kids helping their grandparents cross the street towards church. I see the vendors perseveringly peddling their assorted wares to earn a decent living.

I see the excited townfolk preparing sumptuous roasted pigs and other mouthwatering delicacies while hanging colorful banderitas for their upcoming town fiesta where all and sundry are invited to join in their celebration. I see the young and old together fervently reliving the passion of Christ during the Lenten season and then sharing in the joy of the Resurrection during Easter Sunday. I see the throngs of families braving the worst of traffic jams just to be able to return to their hometowns and pay homage to their dearly departed during All Souls’ Day. I see the housewives putting up Christmas trees while humming carols as early as October, eager to usher into their homes the joyous spirit of the yuletide season which lasts a record duration of three months in this country. I see the dazzling display of fireworks light up the sky during New Year’s Eve.

I see that Filipinos who are among the kindest, most hospitable, most helpful, most talented and most caring human beings on the planet surround me. I am amongst people who wear their heart on their sleeve, who toil hard daily not for themselves but for their families, who are generous despite their poverty, who have hope when all seems lost, who hang on to their faith despite the worst of trials, who laugh amidst their tears, who treat friends as bloodkin, who love without condition.

Suddenly, I am filled with a deep sense of awe.

Simply, I am enthralled.

So again, as the question arises…why the hell am I still here? I look you straight in the eye and answer: WHY THE HELL NOT??? You can have your milk and honey. I’m happy with mine, thank you.

December 14, 2006

As Easy as 123

I've been twin-tagged by The Handsome Houseband and Terra Shield with a meme that is way too simple and fun to resist.

All you have to do is:

1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123 and go down to the fifth sentence.
3. Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Name the book and the author.
5. Tag three people.

"Not on purpose, it seemed, just by chance. The look in his eyes was not grateful, or forgiving -- it was not really personal, it was just the raw look of an astounded animal, hanging on to whatever it could find.

And within a few seconds the eyes, the face, became the face of the man, the minister, who set down his glass and without another word fled out of the house."

- "Soon" from Alice Munro's "Runaway"

It's your turn:


Ready? Set? 123....go!

December 12, 2006

Don't Grow Old

A friend forwarded this beautiful piece by email. I just had to share it with you:

Don't grow old, grow up.

Many people are afraid of growing old. I'm afraid of growing old and boring. Many people are afraid of growing old, alone. I'm afraid of growing old, insane. Many people are afraid of losing their looks. I'm afraid of losing my dreams. Many people are afraid of losing their youth. I'm afraid of losing my soul.

When you're 15, 35 seems ancient. When you're 35, 15 seems juvenile. A turnaround in a split second - two decades zoom past and before you know it, it`s only a mile to the next millenium. Don't fear age - it's a right of personhood. Don't fear it, it's God's greatest jest. Don't grow old - you don't have to.

Don't date because you`re desperate. Don't marry because you're miserable. Don't have kids because you think your genes are superior. Don't separate because you think it's fashionable. Don't drink because you have troubles. Don't gamble because you think winning is inevitable. Don't philander because you think you're irrestible. Most likely, you're not. Don't associate with people you can't trust. Don't cheat. Don't lie. Don't pretend. Don't try to buy your way into the kingdom of God. Don't dictate because you're smarter. Don't demand because you're stronger. Don't sleep around because you think you're old enough and know better. Don't hurt your kids because loving them is harder. Don't sell your self, your family or your ideals.

Don't stagnate. Don't regress. Learn a new skill. Find a new friend. Start a new career. Don't live in the past. Time can't bring anything or anyone back. Don't put your life on hold for possibly Mr. Right. Don't throw you life away on absolutely Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking and you can't afford to have your eggs harvested before the new millenium.

There's always a mad rush to something, somewhere but victory does not always belong to those who finish first. Sometimes, there is no race to be won only a price to be paid for some of life`s more hasty decisions. You can't always go with the throng who would be wrong. Sometimes, you have to be alone to be enlightened.

To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless. To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy. To fulfill your parenting fantasies, get a puppy. Don't bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons. To keep yourself warm, buy a jacket. In the long-run, it will be less complicated and less costly. To make yourself happy, pursue your passions and be the best of what you can be.

Simplify your life. Take away the clutter. Get rid of destructive elements - abusive friends, nasty habits and dangerous liaisons. Don't abandon your responsibilities but don't overdose on duty. Don't live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family. Be true to yourself. Don`t commit when you're not ready. Don`t keep others waiting needlessly. Fall in love - it`s the greatest thing on earth. But take care and remember, after the fall must come the rise.

Go on that trip. Don't postpone it. Say those words. Don't let the moment pass. Do what you must even at society`s scorn. Write poetry. Love deeply. Walk barefoot. Hold hands. Dance with wild abandon. Cry at the movies. Take care of yourself. Don't wait for someone to take care of you. You light up your life. You drive yourself to your destination. No one completes you - except you.

It is true that life doesn't get easier with age. It only gets more challenging. Don't be afraid. Don't lose your capacity to love. Pursue your passions. Live your dreams. Don't lose faith in God. Don't grow old. Just grow up.

December 04, 2006


Don't get too excited by the title of this post.

There's nothing kinky in it, really.

It's just that I've been tagged with another meme by
The Brilliant Thinker and this time, everything comes in threes.

Here we go...

3 Things that scare me:


I suffer inexplicably from
ornithophobia. I simply cannot bear to be near any kind of feathered creature.

Marilyn Manson.


Killer heels.

Being the terrible clutz that I am, super high heels really could kill me!

3 People who make me laugh:

My husband, my baby and myself.

We are a hopelessly loony laughing family!

3 Things I love:

Romantic rainy afternoons.

Riveting books.

Relaxing foot massages.

3 Things I hate:

Being late.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.

You can bet my husband definitely hates it, too!

Unhappy endings.

3 Things I don’t understand:



Complex mathematical equations.


Why can't the world just once and for all give peace a chance???

3 Things on my desk:

A half-done crossword puzzle.

My cellular phone.

Mounds of studio paperwork waiting to be accomplished.


3 Things I’m doing right now:

Appreciating the silence while blogging.

Trying to resist the fierce temptation to indulge in another Grey’s Anatomy DVD-viewing marathon.

How addictive can this show get? Behold the dark circles beneath my eyes and you'll get your answer!

Staring at my things-to-do-before-Christmas board and trying not to panic.


3 Things I want to do before I die:

Travel the world with my family.

Have another baby.

Reynaldo Gianecchini.

But you knew that already, didn't you?


3 Things I can do:

Read a great bedtime story to my child.

Smile even when I don’t feel like it.

Drive my husband completely insane.


3 Things I can’t do:

Solve a Rubik's cube.


Watch a scary movie by myself.

Stop asking why.

3 Things I think you should listen to:

The laughter of children.

Your conscience.

Your wife.

We're always right, you know.


3 Things you should never listen to:


People who always say you can't.

Destructive criticism.

3 Things I’d like to learn:

How to scuba dive.

How to read lips.

How to make my own jewelry and accessories.

3 Favorite foods:

Seafood Jambalaya

Fried Dory Fish with Cream Sauce

Mocha Mud Pie

3 Beverages I drink regularly:

Lots of water.

Coke Light.


3 Shows I watched as a kid:

Sesame Street

Check out
Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

The Electric Company

The Muppet Show

3 People I’m tagging:


It's your turn to indulge us with your threesomes. May you have triple the fun!